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Plant writings, gardening thoughts & observations of Paul Hervey - Brookes, Award Winning Garden Designer & Plantsman.
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Saturday, 30 January 2010

An Extraordinary Stroke of Luck

We have had a stroke of unbelievable luck, and as such we have been in and out of the house checking if it has really happened.
Normally such erratic behavior is the precursor to a batch of rare seed being sown and the time leading up to their germination.  However this is no plant and as such this is a blog which as a rule I rarely make.  
Recently whilst returning from a client we stopped in Minchinhampton for lunch and a stretch of the legs, in a shop window quite by chance, we discovered an advert offering a 1979 2cv6 for sale.  

Almost immediately I was carried away thinking about it, a sign I decided as I was born in 1979 and we had  had a 2cv before.  A 1984 special in bright red which we loved unconditionally but we were forced, reluctantly, to sell it.  We had always missed our 2cv and always  imagined owning one again.
The 1979 model is the first of the modern 2cv, complete with the body we all love and having the 6 window openings.

Over the past few days whilst top dressing and working on various projects we have began talking tentatively about the 2cv.  Our comical conversations would start along the lines of, ‘If I link the social characteristics of the space by creating unified street furniture could you imagine driving to Paris in it with the roof rolled down?’ or ‘Have you printed all the labels for the woronowii and how many crates do you think we could put in the 2cv if we took it with us when we give a talk?’  More and more the conversation left the real world and centered on the world of the 2cv.  We decided to go and view it on Friday afternoon.

The advert told very little of its condition or history, and the gentleman we met on a windy street in the cotswolds was slightly erratic to say the least.  He told us how he had owned it for 20 years and used it everyday.  He had replaced the chassis, a wise precaution to old age sagging.  We sat in every seat and felt quite comfortable, it seemed the wire hooks and rubbers which keep you upright were in good condition.
The old man rolled the roof back and even with a biting wind we felt rather excited at the thought of driving off in it, leaving the luxury of my mothers ultra modern volvo behind us.

A test drive did not take place, we had seen, and heard enough and asked if he would be happy to sell it to us.  Luckily for us he liked us and agreed so now we are the extremely happy owners, once again, of this little piece of motoring history, a dare I say it rather economical icon.
We have already begun to make plans of a trip through France into Italy for this August and several weekend trips to Cornwall & Suffolk.
I know this is a plant blog but I feel we will have many plant hunting trips and journeys of horticultural discovery in our new little car.


Elephant's Eye said...

Yes it's a plant blog, but we are 'allowed' to have a life too. In Switzerland they call them Derschwoo - hard to spell something which only exists spoken. 2 horses. Have fun, and send us a postcard!

Teza said...

What fun, and dare I say luck in finding one! I learned to drive in my Grandmother's VW Beetle, of a similar shape and size, and so wish I could find one. How wonderful to have such an economical vehicle...... more money for plants. And thus, an important post on a plant related blog! Have fun with your new vehicle!

Carol Summer said...

Hi Paul, my partner & I absolutely adore our own 2CV6, we have a Bamboo!!
We can often be seen scouring local nurseries for plant gems and stuffing them into poor Agatha(the car), and if you fancy buying something a little bigger, simply roll back the roof!
They really are great cars, so much more fun than a Morris.
Keep an eye out for us in the summer, my partner has promised we can visit the Cotswolds this year so will definitely be popping in.

Katrina Kieffer-Wells said...

Just the best cars ever - i have had 3 in my time, been all over UK and Europe in them - getting harder to find now. Enjoy it!

Paul Hervey-Brookes said...

Thank you everyone, at the risk of this becoming a 2cv blog we have removed the sun visors, yes a luxury in the 2cv world, and given them a good clean and have been polishing and hoovering.
Thank you for your comments, I am glad the 2cv lives on with us all!!

Stone Art said...

Lovely post for a lovely car. My dad had one of these many tears ago, that is until one day one of his own wheels overtook him on the road:(

Amy said...

I enjoyed your entertaining post and loved the pics!

Wild Somerset Child said...

Dream on - somehow iconic cars recall so many nostalgic moments; if they have character of course. My first was an austin mini van (1967) which I frequently drove from Surrey to Cornwall with three young children camping out in the back - pre-seatbelt regulations. Happy days. I wish you all joy with your 2CV.

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